Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Karen Traviss Retiring from Star Wars (Part IV)

...Star Trek, which between five TV shows, ten movies, and more books than one could count, almost killed itself with overexposure, bloated continuity, and franchise fatigue. No matter what you thought about the new Star Trek movie, I think we can all agree that it was time to wipe the slate clean and start over.

There are simple ways of fixing the discrepinces between the EU and the "official" Lucas stories. The easiest way to fix this would be to seperate the Star Wars stories in print and the Star Wars stories told through moving images into two similar but mutually exclusive universes. This isn't a perfect solution: it would certainly confuse casual fans - but casual fans aren't the ones reading the books these days. But it would make all the continuity problems and ridiculous retcons a thing of the past. This would give the EU writers - especially writers like Traviss, who created a whole culture and numerous memorable characters - the room to create their own part of the Star Wars universe, without fear that years of hard work would be rendered mute, even obsolete once a story written or sponsored by Lucas goes into production.

The other solution, which would upset hardcore fans, is to greatly reduce the amount of Expanded Universe content produced, or to steer EU writers towards The Old Republic or Legacy eras, settings solely created by EU authors and managed by the EU editors.

Either way, Star Wars needs to replace quantity with quality. To produce less stories, stories that should be original, exciting, and accessible to both casual and hardcore fans, that would form a memorable, cohesive universe. I don't think Star Wars is in as much trouble currently as Trek during the Voyager/Enterprise years, but if the live action show doesn't deliver, both in terms of quality and accessibility, then this franchise will truly be in trouble of collapsing in on itself.

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